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Library: The 8

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Author: artea
Date:May 13 2017

Artea woke up, gasping for air and frantically rubbing his hands all over his
body to make sure he was really alive.    "Yeah, you're really alive." Artea
didn't recognize the voice and slowly turned his head to see who was nearby. A
man stood there, roughly 5 foot 8, black hair, very skinny. "Who are you?"
asked Artea confusedly.  "I can't believe you don't even remember who I am,"
the man replied. "Buddy, it's me Dutois." "You know, your adventuring buddy. 
What's gotten into you, man?"

     "Dutois..."  Artea thought to himself.  Artea continued starting at
Dutois and finally stated. "Right, of course" Artea jumped up and squinted
from the bright sun in his eyes.  He put his hand and forearm against his head
to try and see into the distance and was startled yet again.   

     "My birthmark!" Artea yelled. Artea looks to his arm and points at his
left wrist with his right hand.  "My birthmark changed!"  Artea explained that
he had a very peculiar birthmark on his left wrist, a large number 9.   "Now
look, it's an 8!"  Artea yelled frantically."What the hell is going on here?"
Artea asks. Dutois replies, "I'm not sure, but if you keep yelling like that
you're going to attract more trolls to us."  "Let's get out of here and head
to Arelium, I'm sure someone has to know what this means."  "You take the
lead, Artea."   

     Artea gains his composure and begins to hike down the mountain.
 
     Moments later as Artea turns his back he feels the touch a steel and a
hot flash comes over him.  Artea looks down to see a sword protruding from his
chest.  Blood spurts from Artea's mouth as he drops to a knee.   "I want the
entire reward for this mission to myself, so just stay down this time okay?"
Dutois whispers maniacally.  Artea drops to his knees and everything goes
black around him.  As everything turns to pitch black, Artea hears a whisper
in his head, "7 tries remaining"


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